Civil registration

Belgium

Country Report: Civil registration Last updated: 30/11/20

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Civil birth registration and status of children

 

A child born in Belgium needs to be registered at the commune of the place of birth within 15 days, regardless of the residence status of the parents. In some places a civil officer will come to the hospital to facilitate registration. In other places the parents will need to go to the commune.

A child whose descent with both parents is established follows the residence status of the parent with the strongest residence status. The child will be registered in the same national register and will receive a residence title with the same period of validity.

Children that accompany their parents during the asylum procedure will be registered on the “Annex 25 or 26” of the mother. The annex 25/26 is proof that one has lodged an asylum application at the Immigration Office. If they are solely accompanied by their father, then they will be registered on the Annex of the father.

When a child is born during the asylum procedure in Belgium, they need to be added to the “Annex 26” of one of the parents. First the child needs to be registered at the commune of the place of birth. The commune will forward this information to the Immigration Office, which will modify the waiting registry and the child on the “Annex 26” of the mother.

Children born in Belgium after recognition of parents as refugees will not automatically be granted refugee status. The parents have to ask for their children born in Belgium to be granted refugee status:

  • If both parents have been recognised as refugees in Belgium, the request needs to be sent to the “Helpdesk Recognised Refugees and Stateless Persons” of the CGRS;
  • If one of the parents is not a recognised refugee in Belgium, the request needs to be addressed to the Immigration Office.

If paternity has not been legally established, the mother of a child born in Belgium can also apply to the “Helpdesk Recognised Refugees and Stateless Persons” but she must submit a recent copy of the child’s birth certificate.[1]

Children born in Belgium after the parents have been granted subsidiary protection must be entered by the municipality in the register of foreign nationals, provided they present their birth certificates. Children who arrived in Belgium after the parents were granted subsidiary protection status must be declared to the Immigration Office, if no family reunification procedure has been initiated.

 

Civil registration of marriage

 

A beneficiary of international protection can get married in Belgium if, when getting married, one of the spouses holds Belgian nationality or has legal residence in Belgium. Same-sex marriage is possible as long as one of the partners is Belgian or has been habitually resident in Belgium for more than three months.

The marriage can be solemnised by the Registrar of the commune where one of the future spouses is a resident. If neither spouse has residence in Belgium or if the habitual residence of one of the spouses does not correspond to the place of residence, the marriage can be solemnised in the commune of habitual residence.

A foreign marriage certificate may be recognised in Belgium if the basic conditions for marriage applicable in the country of origin of the spouses and the official formalities of the country where the marriage was solemnised have been respected.

Certain documents may be needed for concluding a marriage in Belgium. For beneficiaries of subsidiary protection civil status documents might be harder to obtain. As the CGRS is not qualified to grant civil status documents e.g. certificate of birth, marriage certificate to persons holding subsidiary protection status, they will need to contact their embassy. For some procedures such as marriage or Naturalisation, an “act of notoriety” (acte de notoriété) can substitute a birth certificate.[2] This can be requested from the justice of the peace (Civil Court) of the beneficiary’s place of residence.

Recognised refugees can contact the CGRS for the issuance documents that they can no longer obtain from the authorities of their country of origin: birth certificates; marriage certificates if both spouses are in Belgium; divorce certificates; certificates of widowhood; refugee certificates; certificates of renunciation of refugee status.

 


[1]  For more information, see CGRS, ‘You are recognised as a refugee in Belgium. Your rights and obligations’, January 2018: available at: http://bit.ly/2BjIRbd.

[2] Article 5 Belgian Nationality Code.

 

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation